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Thread: FDNY LODD Three Firefighters Dead, Four Critical in Bronx, Brooklyn Blazes

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    FDNY LODD Three Firefighters Dead, Four Critical in Bronx, Brooklyn Blazes

    Updated: 01-23-2005 07:38:23 PM

    Three Firefighters Dead, Four Critical in Bronx, Brooklyn Blazes


    NEW YORK -- Three veteran firefighters died in blazes in Brooklyn and the Bronx on Sunday, a day their union bosses called one of the saddest in fire department history.

    Two firefighters were killed and four others were badly hurt when they were forced to jump from a fourth-floor window of a burning building in the Bronx. Later, a third firefighter died after tackling a basement blaze in Brooklyn.

    Lt. Curtis Meyran, 46, of Battalion 26, and Firefighter John Bellew, 37, of Ladder 27, died after battling the Bronx blaze on East 178th Street in the Morris Heights section, Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a news conference at St. Barnabas Hospital. Three firefighters were in critical condition at St. Barnabas, and a fourth was in serious condition at Jacobi Medical Center.

    The Brooklyn firefighter, Richard Sclafani, 37, died at a hospital after being injured at a two-alarm fire in the East New York section, the mayor said.

    The six Bronx firefighters became trapped in the building while searching for people on the fourth floor, Bloomberg said.

    ``When the fire from the third floor broke through to the fourth, they were faced with a horrifying choice,'' he said. ``They jumped out a fourth-floor window, knowing that they would be critically injured.''

    Meyran, a father of three and 15-year veteran of the fire department who was decorated twice for bravery, died shortly after 9 a.m., the mayor's office said. Bellew, who had been a firefighter for a decade and was a father of four, died at about 1 p.m.

    Bloomberg, who met with relatives before speaking to reporters, said, ``No words can comfort the families who have lost these courageous fathers and husbands. But I can tell them we will never forget these brave men.''

    Meyran's widow, Jeanette Meyran, reached by telephone, said, ``My husband was one who would put other people's safety before his own.''

    She said her husband loved his job and his children, ages 16, 10 and 6.

    ``We're going to be lost without him for quite some time,'' she said.

    His older brother, Glenn Meyran, said the family, of Malverne, on Long Island, was stunned.

    ``But you know when you take this job there's a risk with it,'' the brother said, ``and he knew that, too.''

    Witnesses said it looked as though the Bronx firefighters were blown from the building.

    Vanessa Whitehurst, 47, was asleep in her apartment next to the building when she was awakened by a strong smell of smoke. She got up to investigate and pulled back her window blinds to see firefighters falling from the burning apartment.

    ``The fire pushed them out the window,'' Whitehurst said. ``It was really devastating. The fire was at such a high flame, then other firefighters were coming down the fire escape like they were trying to get away.''

    Mary Taylor, who lives nearby, said she heard the sirens and commotion and looked out her window to see what was going on.

    ``It looked really bad,'' she said. ``They fell out the building. The flames seemed to force them out.''

    The critically injured firefighters at St. Barnabas were Jeffery Cool, of Rescue 3, and Eugene Stolowski and Brendan Cawley, both of Ladder 27. Cawley's brother, Michael Cawley, a firefighter with Ladder 136 in Queens, died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

    ``When I was a kid, he used to tell me that I had to be a firefighter,'' Brendan Cawley told Newsday after the terrorist attack. ``When I asked him why, he told me it was because being a firefighter was the greatest job in the world.''

    On Sunday, Bloomberg said, ``The Cawleys have given a lot for this great city, and we pray that God doesn't take another member of this wonderful family.''

    Joseph DiBernardo, of Rescue 3, was at Jacobi hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries, the mayor said.

    The Bronx blaze, which started just before 8 a.m. in a third-floor apartment, was brought under control by about 10:10 a.m. The cause was under investigation.

    In Brooklyn, doctors declared Sclafani, of Ladder 103, dead at 2:30 p.m. The 10-year fire department veteran from Bayside, Queens, is survived by his mother and sister, Bloomberg said.

    ``Richard made the ultimate sacrifice,'' the mayor said at a Brooklyn news conference. ``This guy was somebody that everybody loved and respected.''

    The firefighters' union called Sunday one of its darkest days.

    ``Today is an immensely sad day in the history of the department,'' Uniformed Firefighters Association president Steve Cassidy said in a statement. ``Sadly, these dual tragedies serve as a reminder to New York of the extreme dangers firefighters face. We ask the public to pray for the families and recovery of our injured firefighters.''

    The three deaths were the most recent tragedy for the fire department, which lost 343 members in the trade center attack.

    Since then, 41-year-old James J. O'Shea died of a heart attack after battling a blaze in Queens on Sept. 27, 2003, and 30-year-old Thomas Brick was killed while battling a fire at a Manhattan warehouse on Dec. 16, 2003. On Nov. 29, 2004, Firefighter Christian Engeldrum died in Iraq while on active duty for the Army.

    Three firefighters were killed Father's Day 2001 when a five-alarm fire set off an explosion in the basement of a Queens hardware store.

    Harry Ford, 50, and John Downing, 40, were outside the building opening windows to ventilate it when the explosion occurred and were crushed to death when the roof and facade tumbled onto them. Brian Fahey, 46, died after being trapped in the store for hours. All three were married with children.

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=39&id=38568

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    LODD Lt. Curtis Meyran Battalion 26

    Lt. Curtis Meyran FDNY
    Photo Below
    New York City Fire Department

    Update
    Updated: 01-24-2005 08:47:43 PM

    Viewing & Funeral Arrangements for FDNY Bravest Lost January 23


    FIRE DEPARTMENT OF NEW YORK
    Official Press Release

    Wake and Funeral Services for Lieutenant Curtis W. Meyran


    WAKE:
    Krauss Funeral Home
    1097 Hempstead Turnpike
    Franklin Square, NY

    Thursday, January 27, 2005
    Friday, January 28, 2005
    2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    7:00 PM - 10:00 PM


    FUNERAL:
    Our Lady of Lourdes
    65 Wright Avenue
    Malverne, NY

    Saturday, January 29, 2005 at 10:00 AM **
    ** This Time May Change To 11:00 AM

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/home2.shtml

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    LODD FDNY Firefighter John Bellew Ladder 27

    Firefighter John Bellew, 37, of Ladder 27
    Photo Below
    New York City Fire Department

    Wake and Funeral Services for Firefighter John G. Bellew

    WAKE:
    Joseph W. Sorce Funeral Home
    728 West Nyack Road
    West Nyack, NY

    Tuesday, January 25, 2005
    Wednesday, January 26, 2005
    2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


    FUNERAL:
    St Margaret
    Last edited by Neil; 01-27-2005 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Funeral info

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    INFERNOS KILL 3 FIREFIGHTERS

    By MURRAY WEISS, LARRY CELONA and ANDY GELLER

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    January 24, 2005 -- Three hero firefighters perished in blazes in The Bronx and Brooklyn yesterday

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    TRAGIC BOND OF BROTHERS

    By BRIDGET HARRISON, DAN KADISON and HEATHER GILMORE

    Email Archives
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    January 24, 2005 -- One of the Bravest fighting for his life after yesterday's Bronx blaze is a 31-year-old hero who joined the FDNY after his brother died on 9/11.

    "When I was a kid, he used to tell me that I had to be a firefighter," Brendan Cawley had said of his brother, Michael, after the terror attacks. "When I asked him why, he told me it was because being a firefighter was the greatest job in the world."

    Cawley was in serious condition after leaping from a burning building on East 178th Street where he and five comrades were searching for trapped occupants.

    "Brendan is brand new, but he has a tremendous attitude," said his battalion chief, John Sullivan.

    The three heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in The Bronx blaze and another in Brooklyn were:

    * Lt. Curtis Meyran, a 15-year veteran, who died after jumping from the fourth floor window at East 178th Street.

    Twice decorated for bravery

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    LODD FDNY Firefighter Richard T. Sclafani

    FDNY Firefighter Richard T. Sclafani Ladder 103

    photo below FDNY


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wake and Funeral Services for Firefighter Richard T. Sclafani

    WAKE:
    Colonial Funeral Home
    2819 Hylan Blvd at Tysen

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    Stunned Words of Grief in Firehouses, and at Homes

    Updated: 01-24-2005 02:31:11 AM

    Stunned Words of Grief in Firehouses, and at Homes


    MICHAEL WILSON

    Main Story: Three FDNY Bravest Lost in Blazes in Brooklyn and Bronx

    When a firefighter dies, the men at his firehouse - men with whom he has spent hundreds, even thousands of hours - are almost invariably able to mutter only a stunned generality: He was a great guy. Firefighters are ready for just about anything at a moment's notice, but never that, talking to a stranger at the door.

    Three firefighters became great guys yesterday. And if the words spoken about them had an air of familiarity, it was because they had been said often before.

    One was a lieutenant and father from Malverne, N.Y., who worked two jobs so that his wife could raise their children. Another, a father of four young children - including one named for the Jersey Shore town where he had met his wife - had just passed the lieutenant's exam. The third was a strapping man and a proud uncle who took his sister's children to his firehouse to meet Santa Claus.

    They died yesterday from above, jumping from a burning building in the Bronx, and below, perishing in a smoky basement in Brooklyn.

    As the deadliest day in the Fire Department since Sept. 11 finally darkened with nightfall, firefighters streamed into Engine Company 290 and Ladder 103 in Brooklyn, where Firefighter Richard T. Sclafani, 37, had served.

    When Lt. Paul Brown spoke of Firefighter Sclafani, he could have been speaking of all three of the men.

    "He was a good fireman," he said. "Very knowledgeable. He had a lot of special skills that he was able to teach the other guys." He paused, and apologized: "I'm a little numb right now."

    The same numbness had spread to a firehouse in the Bronx, and to the quiet streets where the firefighters' relatives lived.

    Lt. Curtis W. Meyran, 46, of Battalion 26, was the sole officer killed, and the oldest. He joked that he felt like a dinosaur when he was promoted; that and the 15 years he had spent on the job.

    He met his wife, Jeanette, at the gas station where he worked in 1981. They began dating, and married in September 1986. He bought the house on Morris Avenue in Malverne, on Long Island, across the street from the one where he had grown up. They had three children, Dennis, 16, Angela, 10, and Danine, 6.

    In 1997, Firefighter Meyran helped in the rescue of two little girls trapped in a burning basement in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He recalled later, "I heard a little wheezing and moaning maybe, you couldn't see your hand in front of your face." He found one child and took her outside.

    Years later, studying for the lieutenant's exam turned into something of a family affair. Lieutenant Meyran had always worked a second job - landscaping, construction, and carpentry - so that his wife could stay home. He did not have much time to read the books, so Mrs. Meyran read them into a tape recorder, she said, livening up the dry manuals with long sections on every little procedure with little jokes. She put notes in with his lunch, she said, like "What's a 'rear egress?' "

    It's a way out. A safe exit. There was none yesterday.

    He jumped from a fourth-floor window, trapped above what witnesses said was an explosion of flame. Lieutenant Meyran had not even been on the schedule this weekend, but he went in for an overtime tour.

    "He couldn't sit still if his life depended on it. He was like a rabbit, ricocheting all over the place," Mrs. Meyran said yesterday. His brother, Glenn Meyran, lives across the street, in the home where they grew up. He called his brother the "consummate father," adding, "If he was saving people when he died, that's about as good as you can do."

    The firefighter who died with him, John G. Bellew, 37, of Ladder 27, had other plans when he graduated from Manhattan College, his brother said.

    "He tried the business world," said the brother, Danny Bellew, himself a firefighter, along with a few cousins. Eventually, John Bellew came around and joined the department 10 years ago. He had worked with Ladder 10 and Engine Company 23.

    He was a lifeguard when he was young, in the Rockaways, and loved the beach. He met his wife, Eileen, on the Jersey Shore, in the town of Brielle. She was from Pearl River, N.Y. They married and put up a sign in the front yard of their home there: "The Bellews, est. 1995."

    He and his wife liked the little town where they had met so much, they gave their first daughter its name. Brielle, 6, was the oldest of four children, followed by Jack, 3, Katreana, 2, and Kieran, 5 months. Their father coached Brielle's soccer team.

    His brother struggled for words, and said, "Just say this: He loved his family. He'll miss them as much as they'll miss him."

    Across the street, a neighbor lowered her flag to half-staff. Firefighter Bellew had recently passed the lieutenant's exam, a friend said.

    Firefighter Sclafani, of Ladder 103, lived alone in Bayside, Queens. His mother, Joan Sclafani, and sister Jo Ann's family live on Staten Island, and he drove there often to visit his nephews, ages 4 and 2. But he never met his niece, born three weeks ago.

    "He brought the kids to his firehouse for Christmas," said his brother-in-law, Joseph Asch, 34. "All my kids went, met Santa Claus."

    He liked Ladder 103 because it has long been considered a hot spot. He recently got a puppy, named it Mugsy and took it to work with him. His passion was weightlifting.

    "He was in extremely great physical condition," said Wally Merecka, a firefighter who joined the department with Firefighter Sclafani in 1995.

    Firefighter Merecka's eyes were red, and he, like the lieutenant before him, struggled for words on a cold night. "He was very strong. He was a good man," he said. "He shot straight from the hip."

    The Fire Department said they were the 1,129th, 1,130th and 1,131st firefighters to die in line of duty.
    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=39&id=38579

    Reporting for this article was contributed by Patrick O'Gilfoil Healy, Paul von Zielbauer, John Holl and Jason George.

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    Bravest Injured in Jump from Interno Battling Back

    Updated: 01-25-2005 04:01:42 AM

    Bravest Injured in Jump from Interno Battling Back
    Bravest Remain in Critical Condition

    DEVIN SMITH, ERIN CALABRESE and LORENA MONGELLI
    Reprinted with Permission, The New York Post


    January 25, 2005 -- Four city firefighters who leaped from the fourth floor of a burning building in The Bronx Sunday were bravely battling a host of severe injuries yesterday as worried family and friends prayed for them to pull through.

    Firefighter Joseph DiBernardo, 34, was struggling to recover from two broken legs, a fractured pelvis and possible internal injuries at Jacobi Medical Center in The Bronx, friends said.

    "He's in quite a lot of pain," said Chief Kevin Yoos of the Setauket (L.I.) Fire Department, where DiBernardo is a volunteer. "In fact, he's in extreme pain. But I think, more than anything, he feels upset about the other guys. He's been asking about them all the time."

    Colleagues described the firefighter

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